The safety and well being of the children is of paramount importance to us. Therefore we request that you contact the school office before 11.00am if your child is absent from school. If no message is received, we shall attempt to contact you. If we do not receive a reply, the absence may be considered to be an “unauthorised absence” (truancy).
A reminder will be sent to you if we do not receive an explanation.
It is also important that your child is punctual; consistent lateness is detrimental to his or her progress and disrupts the start of the day for the class. If a child is late, he or she must report to the school office on arrival.
If it is absolutely necessary for your child to be absent from school during term time for any other reason, please fill in a Leave of Absence Form, which is available from the school office. There are very clear rules governing the authorisation of absences, and in line with Surrey County Council's recommendations and guidance, we have started to fine parents who take their children out of school for unauthorised reasons.
You may be fined if your child has:
5 or more consecutive days off
10 incidents of being late for school in a 6 week period
any 10 sessions (that's 5 days) of unauthorised absence in a half term
if your child gets stopped on a Truancy Patrol Stop
The fines are £60 per parent, per child, so this can mount up if there are several children. This will double if not paid within 28 days.
Full details of the Code of Conduct relating to Penalty Notices are available on request in school.
Q: Why have I been issued with a Penalty Notice?
A: Because you have taken your child out of school during term time without the leave of absence being authorised.
Q: Who decides whether the leave of absence will be authorised?
A: The Law states that schools are not permitted to authorise any leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. The head teacher acting on behalf of the school has the responsibility to decide what is considered to be exceptional circumstances.
Q: What are Exceptional Circumstances?
A: The regulations have not defined ‘exceptional circumstances’ and therefore the head teacher/governing body will be responsible for deciding what they consider to be ‘exceptional circumstances’ and will make this decision on an individual basis.
Q: Who is liable to receive a Penalty Notice?
A: Any person who is the parent or carer of the child. In the case of separated parents, the Penalty Notice will be sent to the parent asking for leave of absence and/or taking the pupil on holiday.
Q: Who decides how much the Penalty Notice is?
A: The amount payable and the length of time you have to pay the penalty notice is set out in law which states that the penalty notice is £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.
Q: How do I pay?
A: The information on how to pay is included in the penalty notice. Payment cannot be made in part or by instalments.
Q: Who receives the revenue from Penalty Notices ?
A: The Law states that any monies collected from Penalty Notices must be used for the administration of the Penalty Notice process. Any monies collected which exceed the cost of the administration must be given to central Government. Schools do not benefit from the proceeds of Penalty Notices.
Q: Can I appeal?
A: There is no right of appeal. You can contact the school to ask why the school do not consider your reasons for leave of absence to be exceptional circumstances. The headteacher’s decision is final.
Q: What if I don’t pay the Penalty Notice?
A: You will be summonsed to appear at a Magistrates’ Court for failing to ensure the regular school attendance of your child for the period they were absent, as shown on the Penalty Notice under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.